BBC Radio 1’s Adele Roberts shares powerful tribute to the NHS after bowel cancer surgery

The BBC Radio 1 DJ said she was “buzzing to be back”  as she returned to her job on the Weekend Breakfast show this Saturday (27 November).

Updated 28 November: Adele Roberts has said she “owes the NHS [her] life” after returning to BBC Radio 1’s Weekend Breakfast show a month after bowel cancer surgery.

The presenter – who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in early October – said she was “buzzing to be back” and confirmed that her tumour had been successfully removed.

“My body is on the mend and I am here,” she told listeners. “It’s a huge testament to the skill and knowledge and level of care at the NHS. They’re amazing. I owe them my life. I can’t thank them enough.” 

She continued: “I can’t believe it – it’s a month since I had surgery and I’ve got goosebumps. A month on, it’s incredible what the body is capable of. I feel amazing. I’m lucky, I’m happy, and I’m buzzing to be back.”

Since revealing her diagnosis in a powerful Instagram post at the end of October, Roberts has shared updates of her health journey on her account, including what it’s been like to have a stoma for the first time.

“While my body heals from the surgery, I’ve got a new little friend,” she explained on Saturday. “She’s kind of like a front bum; while my old bottom heals, I now go to the toilet on the front. But don’t worry – it’s all wrapped up today!” 

As reported 25 October: BBC Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts has opened up about being diagnosed with bowel cancer in a powerful and honest new Instagram post – and reminded us that there’s no ‘normal’ when it comes to cancer.

Roberts – who also appeared on last year’s series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here – said she wanted to share her experience in the hopes that someone might benefit “from seeing it or reading it”.

“For a while now I’ve been struggling with my digestion,” she wrote. “Thanks to a conversation I had with my Dad a few years back I went to my GP for a check-up. I’ll be honest, I was embarrassed but I also knew that it could be something serious. So, I went just in case.” 

Despite assuming for a while that her problems could be down to “food sensitivity”, Roberts said her doctor decided to send her for some further examinations and checks, which led to her bowel cancer diagnosis.

“It’s all happened so quickly and I’m so sorry to post something like this on here, but I hope it helps anyone who might be worrying or suffering in silence,” she continued. “PLEASE make sure you get checked out if you have ANY concerns. The sooner you’re able to see your GP or talk to someone the sooner you can get help. If I hadn’t, I might not be so lucky.

“As I’ve learned over the last few weeks, there’s no ‘normal’ with cancer. Sadly, it can affect anyone, at any age, anytime. It doesn’t discriminate. Early detection can save your life.” 

Roberts then went on to explain that she’s having surgery today (25 October) to remove her tumour, and that doctors will be doing further investigations afterwards to confirm whether the cancer has spread, and if she’ll need any further treatment.

She concluded: “I didn’t know I’d be writing something like this. The hardest thing wasn’t even finding out I had cancer, it was telling my family. It broke my heart.

“Thinking of you if you are going through something similar and sending love to your family and friends. Thank you to everyone who’s shared their journey online or publicly. You’ve brought me so much comfort and helped me through those sleepless nights. I hope this post can do the same for someone else.” 

Elsewhere in her post, Roberts outlined the main symptoms of bowel cancer – and urged those who have symptoms to get them checked out.

According to the NHS, bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK, although most people who are diagnosed are over the age of 60. However, as Roberts’ story shows, that doesn’t mean younger people can’t be affected – and that’s what makes her decision to share her diagnosis and raise awareness of the illness so important.

We wish her all the best in her treatment and recovery. 

The symptoms of bowel cancer

According to the NHS, the three main symptoms of bowel cancer are:

  • Persistent blood in your poo – that happens for no obvious reason or is associated with a change in bowel habit
  • A persistent change in your bowel habit – having to poo more or your poo becoming runnier
  • Persistent lower abdominal (tummy) pain, bloating or discomfort – that’s always caused by eating and may be associated with a loss of appetite or significant unintentional weight loss

While most people with these symptoms won’t have bowel cancer, you should still get them checked out if they’re persistent or you’re worried at all.

For more information about bowel cancer and the signs to look out for, you can check out the NHS website. 

Image: Getty

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